tv Small Business Summit - Warren Buffett CSPAN February 14, 2018 8:27am-8:52am EST
we've got a young guy, probably by this time he would be 23 or 24 years old, and the interesting thing is, he got back to the midwest and he actually went from one job to another for a short periodof time, not such a short period of time, finally became a used car salesman . had a cadillac dealership in st. louis missouri. and at age 35, having moved up in the organization of sales, he said to his boss can i go in the car leasing business with you ? well, it'll cut your salaryin half . $25,000 what you borrowed. we can become partners so my friend jack started at age 35
at the car leasing business and he has seven cars. it was pretty slow. one of the things he did was whenever the phone rang, even if it rang three or four times people would think that he was very busy answering other phones and of course people would becalling all day so his first venture was okay . it wasn't really going to go anyplace and there's a lesson for all of us. at age 40, he decided there was 17 cars, he was going to go into competition in the rental car business so now he's leasing hertz and national and people who have hundreds ofthousands of cars
and he has 17 cars and his cars aren't any different than theirs . general motors, for chrysler and he can't get the airport locations but he was determined that hewould . basically, he offered the customer an offer of a different car, but he can't offer them friendlier service than they ever seen so he started a company, he named it after a battleship that he'd fallen from in the pacific, it was the uss enterprise and he died about a year, year and ahalf ago . but when he died, his rental car company starting with those 17 cars was worth more than hertz and avis and all the rest of the rental cars put together.
the man's name was jack taylor and his son andy taylor is a good friend of mine, runs a business now. his grandchild is in the business so this man, in the united states, he didn't invent artificial intelligence. he didn't do anything that was like, this is me selling furniture. any one of us could have entered the business but he lived by the creed basically of delighting his customers and working with people and establishing relationships with them so that they in turn would want to know the customers, he couldn't go out there and take care of every rental car possibility but he learned how to project himself and his attitude towards his fellow man, and his desire to make a friend
out of everycustomer . and he used to make very ordinary cars and turn them into this extraordinary business commercially. >> and it illustrates several points. one is you don't necessarily get it right the first time. in the car leasing business, basically you were competing on the cost to money of nascar's and he it was very hard to delight the customer when you were sending a monthly check. at that time. so his talents were being wasted, basically in that business but at the age of 40, all of the experience found, he found the golden key and he took a very ordinary business and turn it into an absolutely extraordinary operation.
just like mrs. dean, willis pumpkin did with furniture. and the, he didn't worry about whether the federal reserve was going to tighten or ease, didn't worry about whether that was there. he didn't worry about the things. he did worry, did focus on the page and that was the customer experience. and i have seen for the one i didn't, the onethat got away , i went down to florida and tried to talk him in to do it, he was smart enough not to do it. the value has quadrupled since i made that business but he was smart enough to see that he would find that business.
henry ford as you may know failed twice before you started, ford motor company in 1903. the test isn't whether you get the greatest, idea in the world the first time out. the test is whether you keep learning as you go along what your strengths are and what you can do for your customers , what you can bring especially to the heart. and to do that, you need the education that i know you've received. for 10,000 small businesses. but you need a genuine desire, day in and day out to delight the customer. never seen a business, and i've seen a lot of businesses that delight the customer,
that doesn't succeed. what you want is the customer the next day and a thank you i want to rent a car, do i want to buy furniture, or what goes through their mind. >> at least where they got a great experience. i don't know what i paid for this, actually if somebody gave it to me but for purposes of this speech, i will. i have no idea, but for the shirt i'm wearing. but i do know, i will remember how i was treated when i bought it. you long for you about the price but you never forget whether you had a good experience or a poor experience. with the first experience. and. [applause] >> you'll have a hard time finding a person that had a wonderful experience, a delighted experience in purchasing anything that is
going to come back. and similarly, if the memory is of rudeness, indifference, whatever it may be, they're never going to comeback . and as a small business owner and as you grow, you have to not only be able to project that interest in people's well-being, and delighting them yourself but you have to do it throughother people . and you won't be able to do it through people who themselves do not feel they are being thoroughly treated, that their views aren't appropriately considered. you really do have tolearn to multiply yourself . through other people. and i advise the young people
do, do a number of classes, the key is to certainly terms of your personal life, the most important decision you may make is to espouse that most of you will likely have and it's very important to surround your people with better people than you are. you are going to move in the direction of the people you associate with so you constantly -- [applause] i've been in or mislead lucky in that respect. i've just had teachers and friends, really a spouse that's a better person than i was and i had enough sense to learn from these people but life went better as you behavebetter yourself . so it took a while.
so i advise you to seek out as your partner in business, your partner in life, whatever it may be, for the people that actually are examples to you, rather than somebody that you think you need to straighten out yourself. and simple rules like that, delighting customers, working with better people. associating with people that will cause you to move in a better path then you might otherwise have. and it will take you so far in life that it's hard to believe. do gross pumpkin withoutbeing able to speak a word of english . couldn't read or write. they took her to one of what is now 1,000,000 and a half dollar business and
incidentally, no money put back in it, $25,000. that's been total capital paid in the furniture market. and i think if you look at enterprise, i don't know their books the same way but my guess is that very little equity capital has been added at enterprise over the years. but this is built on its house. i want to tell you, i admire this group enormously. when i met doctor meadows class, on september 22. eight years ago, i was thrilled and i admire people that are doing what you have done. you have then working hard at your job at the same time you took on an added really a lot of hard work to further your skills 99 percent graduate. it's a mind blowing statistic
. and i'm looking at -- [applause]. i'm looking at 2200 people here who i admire. i'm cheering for you and i can tell you the best is yet to come. thank you. >> this morning treasury secretary stephen nguyen appeared before the senate finance committee to talk about president trumps money 19 west. live coverage begins at 10:30 eastern time on c-span three. and the c-span radio.>> this weekend on american
history tv on c-span three, saturday at 8 pm eastern on lectures in history, former virginia governor douglas wilder at virginia commonwealth university. >> i have a one-word definition that i use in politics and anyone can guess what that is. i say one word. that defines politics. money. give me something that's a proposition before any tribunal which doesn't involve money. >> eight at 10 am on the west point center for oral history, henry had thomas, the combat medic during the vietnam war. >> my grandfather served in world war i. my father served in world war ii. always for a black man, that user that was your military service , you hoped would confirm your bona fides. the first class red-blooded
american citizen and title ii. >> at 4 pm on real america, with the cpap conference in washington dc next week we look back to 1988 when president reagan spoke at a dinner. >> the american people know what limited government, tax cuts, deregulation and a move towards privatizationhave met . it's meant the largest peacetime expansion in our history and i can guarantee you they won't want to throw that away for a return to budgets beholden to liberal special-interest. >> what american history tv every weekend on c-span three. >>. >> our history series landmark cases returns this month with a look at 12 new supreme court cases. each week historians and experts join us to discuss the constitutional issues and personal stories behind the significant supreme court decisions . beginning monday, february live at 9 pm eastern and to
help you follow all 12 cases, we have a companion guide by veteran supreme court journalist tony morrow. landmark cases volume 2. the book cost 895+ shipping and handling. get your copy, go to c-span.org/landmark cases. >> the senate debated immigration reform with republican leaders backing a white house proposal that includes building a border wall. ending the visa lottery program and new limits on visas for relatives of legal immigrants. it also includes protections for 1.8 million .recipients were brought into the country illegally as children. in the senate, majority leader mitch mcconnell accused democrats of needlessly delaying a vote on theimmigration bill . here are those remarks with reaction from minority leader chuck schumer. >> four months, senators have been clamoring for a floor